Present at the Transformation

By Mark Morrison, Chair, Headliners Foundation of Texas

October 17, 2011

(Return to Foundation Blog)

Mark Morrison

It’s been a decade of pain for traditional news outlets.  But as Headliners Foundation launches this new site, journalism is alive and strong in Texas—and promises to get even better in the years ahead as established media companies and new providers exploit new technology to keep audiences informed and to build adequate revenue streams with new multimedia platforms.

We aim to be a catalyst for that transformation.   One way is to make sure that news people around the state can share on our site some of innovative and creative ways they are producing high-impact journalism.

Visit the Best Practices area to get a sampling.  You’ll get the stories-behind-the-great-stories as KHOU television reporter Kevin Reece tells about doing his award-winning pieces on a nine-year-old leukemia survivor and another about a former soldier back from Iraq who is in prison after two children were killed in an accident involving drunk driving.  El Paso Times reporter Adriana Gomes Licon (now with the Associated Press in Mexico City) recalls her trips through dangerous neighborhoods to get her award-winning stories about the exodus of families driven out of Juarez by gang violence.  Or hear Dallas News reporter Steve McGonigle reveal how he and other members of an investigative team tracked down the details of Gov. Rick Perry’s remarkably profitable real estate deals and finds some questionable links between campaign contributors and funding grants by the state’s enterprise fund.   These case studies and many others provide great examples for journalists who want to improve their investigative skills.

In Showcase we call attention to outstanding stories that have recently appeared in Texas media and provide an archive of award-winning journalism.  If you’d like to nominate a story for Showcase, follow the prompt in the Showcase area.

Our first Special Report takes you to our recent Michele Kay Political Writers’ Panel in which four top Texas political journalists discuss the boom in Texas journalism wrought by Gov. Perry’s step into presidential politics and the inside scoop on how election coverage this cycle will be remarkably different than campaign coverage just four years before.

What we have posted so far is just a start.  We want to be a marketplace of information and ideas that will help Texas media profitably compete in multimedia world.   We will seek top journalists and journalism educators to provide timely analysis via blogs and commentaries.

We welcome the ideas of the state’s reporters, photographers, editors, producers and educators to keep the site timely and relevant.   We look forward to hearing your suggestions, to publishing your contributions, and to working with you to make Texas journalism as good as it can be.

About the Author

Mark Morrison, former editor of Business Week, is a lecturer at the University of Texas School of Journalism. He is Chair of the Headliners Foundation.